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The Collective Unconscious and Beyond in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

  • Matthew A. Fike
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Abstract

As noted in the introduction, Jung’s theory of poetry, laid out in two essays, presents a direct challenge to Freud. “On the Relation of Analytical Psychology to Poetry” states that “a work of art is not a disease, and consequently requires a different approach from the medical one.” Jung goes on to claim that “although a psychology with a purely biological orientation can explain a good deal about man in general, it cannot be applied to a work of art and still less to man as creator.” These statements constitute the crux of Jung’s critique of Freudian literary criticism. He is wrong, of course, in the second: the exploration of literature from a psycho-biological point of view—what Jung calls “personal criteria”—does not exclude the possibility that art may also be “supra-personal … a thing and not a personality” and that it can also “be judged by personal criteria” (CW 15,107–8/71–72). “Psychology and Literature” correctly states that there are indeed two partially overlapping categories of artistic creation: the psychological, which always arises “from the sphere of conscious human experience” and is presumably amenable to medically based critique; and the visionary, which may reflect both the personal unconscious and the elusive realm of the collective unconscious (CW 15, 139–41/89–90, 152/97).

Notes

Keywords

Artistic Creation Primary Imagination Latent Content Manifest Content Unconscious Mind 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
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© Matthew A. Fike 2009

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